Focus on 2D materials

For two days, the University of Siegen was the national meeting place for experts from the field of innovative materials and technologies. Over 100 experts from academia, business and politics discussed the latest research findings.

Just an atom layer thin, yet also extremely robust and flexible – these are the properties of graphs and other “two-dimensional materials”. The high-tech substances could be used in a wide range of areas in the future: from sensors for smartphones, biomarkers in medical diagnostics and data communication with the highest transfer rates through to safety technology in cars. How the potential of 2D materials can be exploited was recently the subject of a two-day event at the University of Siegen.

“There is enormous interest among companies – but many results from the lab cannot yet be applied in industry. We have to research this together,” explains co-organizer Prof. Max Lemme from the University of Siegen. He is delighted that his university was chosen as the venue for the national event: “Siegen was thus able to present itself to the top-class expert audience as a university location. That is a great opportunity.”

The university, together with the state cluster “NanoMikroWerkstoffPhotonik.NRW” (NMWP.NRW) and the association NMWP E.V., for which Prof. Lemme is on the executive committee, invited people to attend the event at Artur-Woll-Haus in Siegen. Many young scientists from throughout North Rhine-Westphalia also responded to the invitation: as part of a “Young Academics Symposium”, they were able to present their research findings in the form of talks and posters. The best contributions were then awarded prizes. The “NMWP Think Tank” also offered the chance to discuss current opportunities and challenges relating to 2D materials.

Discussions and networking were also the order of the day later on at the meeting of the expert group “Graphs and 2D Materials”. It is part of the state cluster and features representatives from business, academia and politics. The crowning glory of the event in Siegen was finally a themed evening with five talks on various areas of material and technology development.

“It was ultimately about maintaining a dialogue with each other, identifying common themes and initiating new research projects,” explains Prof. Lemme. He said the University of Siegen has even initiated two possible academic partnerships as part of the meeting. From Siegen’s point of view, the event was thus a double success – it was also supported by the DFG research training group “Imaging New Modalities” from Faculty IV.